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Edition 147 January 11th 2013

Revisiting the rapture.

News events and commentary:


a swordpennewscomment 

My comment begins with ***

We are still in the Syria / Damascus phase of Bible prophecy. It is about to spiral out of control into a far bigger and wider conflict. Much of Damascus and other cities are already on the way to becoming the “ruined heap” of Isaiah 17, but it’s nowhere near complete fulfilment yet. If / when Assad goes it will get worse as tribal / ethnic civil war loses restraint.

Syria’s Assad will most probably use chemical weapons on the population soon. According to US intelligence, Syria has been preparing chemical weapons of late.

Report: Obama has joined Israel’s concern over Syria’s chemical weapons.


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Revisiting the rapture:

If you do only one thing, please read the section below headed “The most shocking verses of scripture you will see in a long time”!

Introduction:

I have dealt with this subject in numerous previous editions, but this is important and much of this material is new. In fact there is still much more after this that I’ve not shared yet.

The facts I’m presenting you with today are profound and indisputable relating to the pre-tribulation rapture of the true church.

This edition should shock you, wake you up and bring you great peace. Unfortunately many, even some who read these words, will miss the greatest ever banquet and marriage feast with our Lord in heaven and will instead go to the great “banquet” in hell hosted by the “Whore of Babylon”.

Make no mistake everyone will attend one of the two banquets.

Much of the professing church will not be raptured, but there will be a chance for salvation, in the tribulation as you will see. They will become the "tribulation saints" but will be saved at the end of the day (a very long day)

The most ridiculous anti-pre-tribulation rapture argument in the world:

The most amazing thing is that this short sighted, blind argument usually comes from intelligent people!

This is the argument: “The pre-tribulation rapture is pure escapism”.

Let me inform these people what the pre-trib crowd will be escaping.

It will be the worst time on this earth that ever has been or ever will be!

It will be a time when two thirds of the world’s population will die. That’s about 4 billion people!

It will be a time when many of those saved in the tribulation will be tortured, murdered or beheaded.

Matthew 24:21-22 “For then there shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be. Unless those days were shortened (Lit=cut out in time) no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake they will be shortened. (This doesn’t mean that the tribulation will be shortened. It means that the tribulation itself is that shortened cut-out-of-time period of seven years in time).

Ezekiel 5:11-12 “One third of you shall die of the pestilence and be consumed with famine in your midst and one third will fall by the sword. I will scatter another third to all the winds and draw out a sword after them.”

Ezekiel 5:17 “So, I will send wild beasts against you and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass though you and I will bring the sword against you.”

Ezekiel 7:5-10 “Disaster has come! An end has come; the end has come. Doom has come to you; the day of trouble is near.  I will pour out my fury on you, according to your ways and abominations. Behold the day; it has come. Doom has gone out.”

Isaiah 24:19-20 “The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard". (Isaiah 13:13 is similar)

Revelation 6:17 “For the great day of their wrath has come and who can stand.”

Revelation 9:6 “In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, but death will flee them.”

Obviously the object of God’s wrath will not be the tribulation saints. But this is the time of the wrath of Satan and of man as well.

Revelation 12:12 “Therefore rejoice O heavens and you who dwell in them; woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you having great wrath, because he knows that his time is short.”

God’s great escape promises:

The verses below should be a real comfort to true believers:

Revelation 3:10 “Because you have kept my word to persevere, I will also keep you from the hour of trial which will come upon the whole world, to test those who live on the earth.”

Romans 5:9 “Having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”

1 Thessalonians 1:10 “We wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”

1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Nahum 1:2 “He reserves His wrath for His enemies.”

Luke 21:36 “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The second most ridiculous argument in the world:

The post-trib crowd almost unanimously believe that they will be protected through the seven year tribulation.

Let’s see what the Bible says:

Revelation 20:4-5 “I saw thrones and they sat on them and judgement was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”

Revelation 13:6 “He (antichrist) opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven, and it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them...”

Revelation 18:24 “In her was found the blood of prophets and saints and of all who were slain on the earth.”

Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman (who gave birth to the Lord) and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring (=Israel) who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Revelation 17:6 “I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus...”

Daniel 7:25 “He (antichrist) shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time times and half a time (2nd half of the tribulation period.)

There is one verse of scripture that implies some sort of protection being given by God to certain individuals in the tribulation period. This would be those with a particular calling or job or something like that. The 144,000 come to mind. But the protection is most certainly not universal for tribulation believers. Most will not be protected.

Another insanely stupid argument:

Many short-sighted, people say that the word “rapture” is not in the Bible therefore there won’t be one.

The original word used is “Harpazo” which means to be “snatched by force, or taken clean out away from.” That means rapture! Their argument is so stupid I won’t even bother saying any more.

A reasonable but wrong argument:

This view maintains that God would not allow tribulation to fall on His people the Jews, while the true believers ease out in luxury in heaven.

Of course the argument is reasonable but it is wrong. The Bible makes it very clear that the tribulation is all part of God’s dealing with the Jews. People, who don’t like this idea, need to take it up with God.

There are many, many verses of scripture showing that God has used various hard times and persecution to bring His people to repentance.

Jeremiah 30:7 “Alas for that day is great, so that none is like it and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble.”

“Jacob” always refers to the Jews and not the true church.

The book of Revelation, dealing with the tribulation, does not see the church on earth at all in that time.

Revelation 19:1-9 shows the 24 elders and those who are called to the marriage feast of the Lamb in heaven while the tribulation is on the go on earth. (Those who get saved in the tribulation are called “tribulation saints.”)

The church is seen returning to earth with our Lord after the marriage feast of the Lord in heaven.

The 144,000 in the tribulation are clearly Jews as seen in Revelation 5:7-8.

The tribulation period is the period in which the Jews come to salvation in large numbers, revealed in dozens of verses.

The post-tribulation rapture has to do away with dispensations.

The Post-tribulation rapture position can be implied partially if you remove dispensations from the Bible, but this involves denying major sections of the Bible dealing with dispensations.

The original word translated, “dispensation” in the Bible is used nine times in the New Testament. This word means “divisions in time.” The term “dispensation” simply means that God has and does deal differently with man at different times.

Here are three uses:

Ephesians 1:10 “In the dispensation of the fullness of time, He will gather together in one all things in Christ...” The dispensation here is the Millennium.

Ephesians 3:2 “If indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God...” The dispensation here is the church age or age of grace.

Hebrews 1:1 “God who at various times (lit= dispensations) and in different ways spoke in times past.”

The existence of dispensations doesn’t mean God has changed as claimed. It simply means God has worked in different ways with man in different times.

The dispensation deniers must deny all differences between the church and Israel and the rapture and the Second Advent.

They must also deny the doctrine of imminence because the Second Advent occurs exactly 2520 days after the start of the tribulation. (That is seven years in the Hebrew 360-day measure)

The post-tribulationist must apply huge sections of scripture relating to God’s plan for Israel, to the church.

Many blindly continue to believe the view that dispensationalism and the pre-tribulation rapture is modern teaching!

The idea that the pre-tribulation rapture is a modern teaching came about in 1830. A new school of interpretation came about seeking to overthrow the teaching of the Apostle Paul. The Plymouth Brethren and John Darby spearheaded this erroneous view.

It is this view that is modern, not pre-tribulationsim and imminence or dispensationalsim.

There is no way that the post-trib rapture can sit comfortably with the doctrine of dispensations. They are mutually exclusive. Conversely there is no way that the pre-trib rapture can sit happily without dispensations.

Beware: There is a growing number of legalistic, post-tribulationists who downplay and ignore the centrality of the epistles written by Paul. This logically ends in the denial of Jesus as the Messiah.

The Post-tribulation rapture position presents many problems of exegesis, the most significant is this: If we are raptured at the end of the tribulation (the time of the Second Advent) who is it that is left on the earth to repopulate it in the Millennium? Because at the Second Advent all unbelievers are cast into hell and the believers will have just been taken to heaven, leaving an empty world. It just doesn’t add up. It’s not logical and there is no scripture to support it.

If we get a post-tribulation rapture where and when does the “marriage feast of the Lord" take place and with whom? The Revelation clearly places the marriage feast in heaven while the tribulation is on the go on earth.

If we get a post-tribulation rapture, what would be the purpose? This would the great U-turn. Going up to meet the Lord in the air only to turn right around and return to the earth at the same time!

I have used the images below in previous editions, but it’s good to see the situation visually.

tribulationpositions

Here is another view of dispensations. The post-tribulation anti-dispensation crowd rejects all of these.

I am more and more convinced that the post-tribulation rapture theory is rooted in an evil spirit. There are far too many related issues for that not to be the case.

dispensa

The Great Apostasy

Now here is something very interesting. The well-known section of scripture in 2 Thessalonians2:1 speaks of the man of sin (antichrist) being revealed after the falling away (apostasy). Most teach that this relates to the falling away of the church. Yes, there will be a large falling away of the lukewarm superficial church, but other verses deal more effectively with that. The word “falling away” is also translated ‘apostasy’. It is made up of two words in the original Greek. “Apo” and “Stacia”

“Apo” denotes motion from a surface. It means “motion away from.” “Stacia” means to separate or draw away from. The word “apostasy in the Bible also has with it, the definite article. It is not a general falling away. It is THE removal or the departure of the church!

This is the great comfort. “Let not your heart be troubled”.

The timing:

There is so much very exciting revelation on this, that I will do a separate edition again sometime soon, but for now here are a few interesting snippets:

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The trumpet Paul speaks of:

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “Behold I tell you a mystery, we shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet shall sound and the dead (in Christ) shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

1Thessalonians 4: 16-18 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel , and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

Why is Paul’s trumpet so important?

Here is some simple logic. Unfortunately most students of the scriptures and every single one of the post-tribulation crowd miss this simple point.

This trumpet blast has a dual meaning. It signals a gathering together and it signals the call to war.

Many post-tribbers in their desperate bid to lead everyone with them into the lap of wrath, claim that the trumpet being spoken of by Paul in the two verses above is the same as the trumpet releasing the judgments of God in the tribulation as revealed in the Revelation. They then say that we are going through the tribulation because the Revelation trumpet is the same as Paul's.

Paul’s trumpet was not any of the trumpets of the Revelation. How could it be? The Revelation hadn’t been written yet! The Revelation only came some 60 years later. Paul’s trumpet had to have originated from his looking back at the silver trumpets of Numbers 10:2.

Paul's trumpet is simply the last trump of the church age, calling and gathering true believers together in the rapture. It is not the last trump of the Revelation...it can’t be due to simple logic.

Either way we are close to the silver trumpet blast, calling believers out and releasing destruction on this Christ-rejecting world.

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Who is the “restrainer”:

Very soon we will see that peace will be taken from the earth to be replaced by world terror. (Revelation 6:4)

Although it is a wild world out there, the above verse can’t take place yet. Right now we have a “restraint” of evil (2 Thessalonians 2: 6-7). The restrainer is the subject of much controversy. Some say he is the Archangel Michael, some say he is the Holy Spirit and some say He is the Church.

He can only be the true Church indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Once we’re gone Satan manifests his power in fullness through the antichrist. As believers we can cast the devil out of situations in the authority of God and restrain his works. Soon this will change dramatically. All those in the tribulation will be exposed to the full wrath of God, Satan and man.

God is slow to anger and wrath, but the grace of God does have limits.

 Genesis 6:3 “The Spirit of God will not strive with man forever.”

The most shocking verses of scripture you will see in a long time!

I’m including this section in this edition, because this is another incredibly profound reason why you had better believe in a pre-tribulation rapture and why you had better pray and hope you are “found worthy to escape all these things”!

A frightening look through the keyhole into the very near future:

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I have found the WMD!

The incredible thing about this is that very few people are aware of these verses of scripture and what they mean or how they apply to us today some 2500 years after they were written. I’m sure our Lord has intentionally hidden them, until the time of their relevance which is NOW. As you read the verses below in Zechariah, you will be confused. Read on my friends! Please read these verses carefully and pay particular attention to the underlined words. You will not understand what follows if you don’t.

Zechariah 5:2-11 “He said to me, "what do you see?” I answered and said, “A flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width is ten cubits.” Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the whole earth: Every thief shall be expelled, according to what is on one side of the scroll and every perjurer shall be expelled according to what is on the other side.” I will send out the curse says the Lord of hosts; it shall enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by my name. It shall remain in the house and consume it, with its timber and stones. Lift your eyes and see what this is that goes forth. A basket goes forth. This is their resemblance throughout the whole earth. Here is a lead disc lifted up and there is a woman sitting inside the basket. This is wickedness and he thrust her back into the basket and threw the lead cover over its mouth. Then I looked and there were two women coming with the wind in their wings, for they had wings like the wings of a stork and they lifted up the basket between the heaven and the earth. So I asked the angel, where are they carrying the basket? So he said to me to build a house for it in the land of Shinar and when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base.”

Now, let’s have a look into the original Hebrew words used in these verses. Hebrew is a language where many words may have several meanings. We have to go into the context to get the right ones. We also bear in mind that these things were written some 2500 years ago, so the prophets used words and terms that they were familiar with back then.

Zechariah uses the term a “flying scroll”. The word used here is Megillah (Strong’s H4039) which is a metal cylindrical container with a cap on it. It is usually used to contain a scroll. But here we see that it is very big and it flies and goes out over the whole earth. This Megillah is 20 cubits by 10 cubits. The 10 cubits here is the circumference and not diameter.

The image below shows the normal megillah (bottom right) that contains a scroll. The image also shows the dimensions of the megillah mentioned in Zechariah and a Trident intercontinental ballistic missile in comparison. These flying nuclear bombs are what is being referred to by Zechariah, with the eyes of his understanding back then.

megilah

The next  important word we must understand is “curse.” The original word used by the prophet for “curse” is the Hebrew word “alah”. It is spelt like that and is used in a few other places. It means to swear or curse, and is also used in association with foreign gods. The resemblance to “Allah” and Islam by extension is not coincidental!

Next we see the people involved. These are thieves and those who swear falsely by the Lord’s name. Well, now we have very wide application. The thieves could refer to Islam’s attempted theft of the land of Israel. Those who swear by the Lord’s name covers just about the whole world!

Note that it “remains” afterwards.  This implies that it has some sort of residue that will remain after it consumes timber and stone. This is most certainly in line with nuclear destruction and the radiation aftermath.

Then we see a flying basket: The word used for basket is, “epha”. This word simply means “a container”

Now we see a  woman in the basket. The original word used here for “woman” is, “Ishah (Strong’s H801). Interestingly this word means either “fire offering” or “woman”.  (H892. You need to use the context to see which one is right. Yes, yes I know sometimes you can’t tell the difference, especially when she’s had a bad day! The fire offering here is said to be “wickedness”. I think the results of a fiery nuclear war will most certainly fit that bill. “Fire offering” in Strong’s can also be translated as “fiery sacrifice.”

basketwoman

The lead disc: This strange flying metal cylinder containing a fiery sacrifice is topped with a lead disc. Many nuclear weapons are encased in lead to prevent exposure to radioactivity while the bomb is being handled and prepared and to prevent radiation leaks from the fuel.

Now the prophet looks again and sees two women (fire offerings) in a container with wind in their wings, being lifted up between heaven and earth. This applies to the outer atmosphere which is the domain of intercontinental missiles.

Finally we see the container of the fiery offering brought to a house in the land of Shinar to await its launch from a “base.”

Shinar is Babylon, if you look it up. This most certainly does not apply to the original city of Babylon or even some little museum-like rebuilt part, which is not much bigger than a shopping centre. There are numerous verses saying that original Babylon will never be fully rebuilt.

This is obviously applying to modern “Babylon the great” which throughout the Revelation is a type of the world system.

Okay, so there we have it. Let’s now summarise this whole section and see what it comes up with:

Zechariah sees a long thin flying metal container with a lead top to it. This container is associated with a curse that covers the whole earth. It is delivered on thieves (criminals or Muslims who try to take Israel) and those who swear falsely by the Lord’s name. (Most westerners)

The metal cylinders contain a “fiery offering or sacrifice”, lifted up between heaven and earth. It has some sort of residue that causes it to “remain.” on wood and stone. They are stored in many nations of the world until needed.

These are shocking verses indeed!  This is a very real description of worldwide nuclear war and nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMD)  

A note to the post-tribulation rapture crowd: You will go through all of this and you will not be protected as you think. May I take this opportunity to wish you well and lots of luck! You will be experiencing nuclear war firsthand. “Comfort one another with these words”!

Nuclear war will begin in the Middle East and will include Iran. It won’t be long before it spreads worldwide.

I’ve spent many years wondering if there will be a world nuclear war and if so; is it in the Bible? I’m quite familiar with all the scriptures hinting at some sort of nuclear war, but never found that single section of scripture, which paints it all so dramatically. It has been elusive simply because of translational preferences that have changed the meanings when transliterated over into English. But when we go into the original words in Hebrew...wow, what a revelation!

Here are some other verses implying nuclear war. They suddenly carry more weight when viewed in light of the above exposition of Zechariah 5.

Zechariah 14:12 “This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all people who fought against Jerusalem. Their flesh will dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.” (This is a perfect description of the effects of the balst on the inhabitants of Hirshima and Nagasaki in WW11)

The “atomic” rapture:

1 Corinthians 15:52 “Behold I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep (die) but we will be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet...”

The Greek word used for “moment” in the above verse is “Atomos” (Strong’s 823) It means “a moment in time that is so short it is indivisible. It is the shortest period of time possible.

As we look into the Bible meaning of this word describing the rapture, quite simply, it just can’t fit in with the post-tribulation rapture.

At the Second Advent, (where the post tribulation rapture occurs), the Bible describes our Lord returning to the Mount of Olives in the same manner as He left. He ascended gradually slowly, into the clouds watched by many. This is how He will return. This return may be watched by the whole world on TV and other media. He will return with huge numbers of saints, who have been in heaven with Him.

How can that fit in with an atomic rapture? The atomic rapture will be so fast no will see it. It will obviously be worldwide as well.

How to prepare for the rapture:

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Be watchful.

Be repentant.

Walk in holiness.

Hebrews 9:28 “The Lord will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to them who eagerly wait for Him.” This verse could apply to the Second Coming but the word “appear” in the original denotes something shocking or remarkable, causing wide eyes rather than simple vision. Some believe that this appearance of our Lord is at the rapture. If it is so, or even if it is a Second Advent verse, note that it limits those who are saved to those who are eagerly waiting.

Does this imply that believers who are not waiting for Him will not be included? I don’t know, but I do know that I’m not prepared to gamble on it!

Revelation 3:3 “Because you won’t watch, I will come upon you as a thief in the night.”

Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy. For without holiness no one will see the Lord.” 

The fence is rising even now. One side is the true and holy and the other is the false, the counterfeit and the unholy, mixed with the traditions and practises of Babylon - all rejected and condemned by God.

Repentance is the big thing. Repentance is the big thing leading to holiness. The expectance of the soon coming of our Lord is inextricably mixed into it all.

1 John 3:3 “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.” The “hope” being referred to here is the hope of His soon coming.

The word “holy” means separate or apart.

Personally I believe that our Lord will supply special favour and special power to those who want to move into holiness in preparation for Him.

Please don’t think that you can’t get free from sin. If you want to you can with our Lord’s strength. Please don’t allow the devil to defeat, discourage and distract you. If you want to, you can respond to God’s call, receive His provision and move forward into great glory. In fact there are many young people coming to the Lord now who will be freshly empowered to get their lives right fast. These will knock the spots of many who have been believers for ages trapped in the rut of traditionalism.

He will lead you His way no matter who you are. Yes it will cost you everything that you are, but what a wonderful exchange we get... His holiness and glory for our failures.

What to do if you are left behind:

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Repent fast!

There will be a great revival in the tribulation period. Many people will become “tribulation saints” even in the face of death. I wonder why that is. Why did they wait? Why did they not come to our Lord in salvation before the wrath of God hit the world?

Why do they get saved in the tribulation, knowing that they will most probably die a terrible death?

I think the greatest shock anyone in the world will have is right after the rapture as they realise that God has excluded them and delivered them to the antichrist. This will especially be true for those who have previously heard the gospel of good news and the warnings of God, but rejected it.

In a blinding flash they will be shocked to the very core of existence and of course that is good if it leads to repentance.

The good news is that there is a second chance to get saved, but not as a member of the church. Obviously the first choice would be to do it now, but those left behind will have two choices. Some will go positive with God and many will continue in rebellion and in fact direct hostility to God! How dumb is that!

How dumb it is to come against or ignore the God that has the keys of heaven and hell!

One of the most powerful causes of the Jews being saved in the tribulation period could be their jealousy of the church beating them to heaven!

Finally:

The first Sunday after the rapture will see some empty churches and others, perhaps the majority, will still be fairly full. These will be those who were not ready! Their leaders never taught or prepared their flock for what lies ahead. Many ministers and pastors will stand behind their pulpits making excuses.

Do you know, Mr. Preacher, that if you deliver your flock over into the hands of the devil in the tribulation, your flock will know you are a wolf and you will never be able to hide.

At the end of it all...it’s about the condition of your heart. A long time ago I learnt to take God at His word. I know what it means “to let everyone be a liar and God’s word be true”. Are you prepared to stand against the flood of evil and the opinions of the world in this day?

A word of reconciliation: Post tribber...we are not against you. We love you as brothers and sisters in the Lord. No we don’t agree, but yes we are family!


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Psalm 34:5 “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.”

Psalm 97:10 “You who love the Lord hate evil.”

Psalm 119:53 “Indignation and horror has taken hold of me because of the wicked who forsake your word.”

Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.”


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The storms are coming! They will destroy everything in their paths. I took this picture of an approaching storm in the Namib Desert.

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Shalom and grow in grace!



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